Ancient Lobe Coral
Photograph by Brian J. Skerry
Marine ecologist Enric Sala (foreground) examines an enormous lobe coral on Kingman Reef in the South Pacific’s remote Line Islands. This coral is 500 years old, but the species was unknown to science before Sala’s discovery. Such finds aren’t shocking at Kingman, which is one of the world’s most pristine reef ecosystems. The site shows scientists how much has been lost at reefs found closer to human habitation.